Late Goal Downs Gamecocks to No. 7 West Virginia
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team (4-6-2, 2-2-1) fought back after being down 2-0 to draw even with No. 7 West Virginia (9-0-4, 2-0-3) Thursday night (Oct. 12), but the Gamecocks were unable to hang on, falling to the Mountaineers 3-2 in Sun Belt Conference play.
West Virginia held a 16-to-11 margin in shots and 12-to-5 in shots on goal, while the Gamecocks led 6-to-4 in corner kicks.
Carolina fell behind early when WVU scored in the 6th minute on their first shot of the match. The Mountaineers controlled the action in the first half, as the Gamecocks were limited to one shot on goal.
West Virginia added to its lead in the 52nd minute on a loose ball inside the box. The Gamecocks responded fast and furiously.
In the 57th minute, Carolina used teamwork to find the open man. Mika Habel found Ethan Dekel Daks near the top left of the box with a quick pass. Dekel Daks gave a touch pass to a sprinting Kasper Lehm just outside the left side of box. Lehm played the ball to the far post to Adam Luckhurst, who headed the ball home to the top left corner for his fifth goal of the season.
Just over two minutes later in the 59th minute, it was Dekel Daks who found the back of the net. Habel put a juke move on a WVU defender and passed the ball between another defender’s legs to Dekel Daks at the top of the box. He took a short dribble and nailed a shot into the upper right 90 for his fourth goal of the season to tie the match.
West Virginia broke the tie with the game-winner in the 71st minute on a ball that just squeaked into the net. The Gamecocks were held to one shot on goal of the final 15 minutes, unable to find another equalizer.
In goal, Ben Alexander finished with eight saves, one off a career high.
South Carolina returns to action when it travels to Georgia Southern for a Sun Belt Conference match October 18 at 7 p.m.